Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Trumpery

This is from a good friend in the USA.He is British but had dwelt across the pond many years.

 Graham, I’m yielding to the temptation of making further comments on Trump, in response to what you say.

          I should explain that, generally, around here I keep my mouth shut on the subject of Trumpery.  There are two problems with saying anything.  One is that Trump’s biggest critics are people whose views I normally find unacceptable.  They include virtually all the mainstream media columnists, plus many of my neighbors who are swamp-dwellers working for the federal government, and thus huge beneficiaries of the status quo.  The second problem is that, if I happen to be talking with one of the small number of Trump supporters in northern Virginia, they will draw entirely the wrong conclusion about my overall political views.  I’m sure you understand my dilemma! 

          Since you’re not either a swamp-dweller or a wild Trump enthusiast, I’ll burden you with the following thoughts:
(1)                        I agree with Trump that it would be great if politically correct thinking, which hinders the solution of many major problems, could be banished.  I also agree with Trump that the U.S. must regain control of its borders.  He may even be right that the U.S. has too readily agreed to one-sided trade agreements that have put U.S. manufacturers at a disadvantage.  Also, I think that Trump is serving a very useful purpose in nominating federal judges (notably to the U.S. Supreme Court) who will cease pandering to special interest groups, at the expense of the rule of law.
(2)                        I was not as scandalized as some were by the Britain First tweets.  However, the fact that Trump is firing off tweets on all sorts of matters, great and small, is a very bad sign.  In almost every case, he’s shooting himself in the foot, and making it far more difficult to achieve what he says are his objectives.  I think Trump is right in recognizing the dangers of Moslem immigration.  Other responsible people in the U.S. agree (see https://www.wsj.com/articles/the-discontent-that-feeds-britain-first-151260200 from the Wall Street Journal of December 7.)  But Trump needs to be much more careful about what he says.  He must recognize that federal judges, who by and large function as a wholly owned subsidiary of the Democratic Party, can easily find phony constitutional grounds to block what he wants to do, if he doesn’t prepare the ground carefully.
(3)                        As far as I can see, many supporters of Trump thought he was a very successful businessman who could take the swamp-dwellers by the scruff of their necks, and force through the necessary changes.  However, Trump isn’t a successful businessman at all.  He claims to have taken $1 million inherited from his father and turned it into his present $10 billion fortune.  That isn’t true.  There’s abundant evidence that he got far more money from his father, and independent authorities (e.g. Fortune magazine) say he’s worth $3-4 billion – still a lot of money, of course, but far less than he says.  In this, as in so many matters, Trump is telling porkies.  His businesses went bankrupt at least once.
(4)                        Trump’s history is very murky.  For example, at the time when he was building casinos in Atlantic City, N.J. he had a well-established reputation of not paying the agreed amounts to smaller contractors who didn’t have the resources to sue him.  And you’ll remember his business activities in Scotland, which led to the Scottish National Party severing their ties with him.

         I certainly agree with you that many thought Trump was the lesser of two evils, when compared to Hillary Clinton.  However, it seems to me that that’s a measure of how absolutely awful Clinton was.  I voted for Gary Johnson, the Libertarian candidate for president, in the expectation that Clinton would get in, and I wouldn’t have helped Trump.  When Trump got elected, I tried to think positive, and expect that his approach would be transformed once he got into the White House.  However, it seems to me that, since then, like the Bourbon kings, he has “learned nothing and forgotten nothing.” 
          After all that, I should say that, if the above rant is intercepted by the National Security Administration, it may come to the attention of our Dear Leader.  Look for me to be denounced in a future White House tweet!

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